Date Thesis Awarded

5-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Cheryl Dickter

Committee Member

Paul Kieffaber

Committee Member

John Froitzheim

Abstract

Previous research has found differential neural processing to racial ingroup and outgroup faces and greater neural processing for individuals who violate social expectations in the early attentional components of the ERP. Other lines of research using behavioral paradigms and fMRI methodology have demonstrated the ability of minimal group assignment to override race effects. This research sought to combine these lines of research to investigate the effects of an arbitrary group membership on attention in a racial expectancy violation paradigm, as measured by P2 amplitude. Hypotheses were generally unsupported but two effects were found that merit discussion. That is, we replicated previous person perception research by showing that participants show larger P2 amplitudes to racial outgroup members and extended the minimal groups literature by showing that racially stereotypical minimal outgroup targets elicit more P2 processing than other combinations. Limitations, implications and future directions are discussed.

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